Last modified: Sunday, November 2, 2008 7:17 AM

Sideshow Leia, Luke, Han


Sideshow Luke Leia Han For your shrine to the heroes of the Trilogy, you want the likenesses to be as close as possible. Without doubt, Sideshow has put out the definitive versions of the Episode IV gang-- and Hasbro has never come close to hitting the mark with any of theirs.

Sideshow's aren't perfect: I think Han's sculpt is the closest of the three, while the other two are close, but not quite there. It's a subtle thing. All of them can be made to look pretty good through photographing them at the right angle and in the right lighting. For example, I reshot the photo at the top of the page after turning Leia's head so she wasn't staring straight at the camera: A little better, but Luke still looks a bit off. The monitor backdrop photos along the left are individual shots with more controlled lighting, so I could better focus on making them look like the way I thought they should. Generally speaking, a bunch of dolls shot on a shelf with room lighting is probably going to look like a doll collection.

While you could probably fix or improve some of these subtle flaws, it would take quite a bit of time to study and identify the flaws-- that's not an easy thing to do-- then work on fixing them, without making things worse. For me, Sideshow's renditions are good 'nuff, straight out of the box.

It's a shame that there aren't any definitive 12" versions of Chewbacca to be had. Hasbro has tried, in plastic and in fur, but their efforts could charitably be described as "not quite there". I don't think that this would be a likely thing for Sideshow to tackle either, since it would require a totally different, really tall body type-- being a business, they're not known for straying too far from their tried-and-true formula. I believe that the only way to do a definitive Chewbacca would be to do it as a fur suit, with the fur artfully applied... which may be too much to expect from a factory production line. Once upon a time, I did a 3-3/4" Chewbacca that looked okay (IMO). On my list it is, once I find a really tall base figure...